On March 21, China’s president Xi Jinping and Russia’s president Vladimir Putin met at the Kremlin in Moscow. The meeting brought together the two heads of state to discuss the relations between the two countries, and their opposition to a world dominated by the U.S.
In recent decades, China and Russia have shared a common situation. Both states are engaged in a competition, mostly economic and diplomatic, with the United States. Of course, with Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine last Spring, this conflict has escalated, with the U.S. backing Ukraine with high-tech weaponry and other assistance. While China has not chosen to back Russia’s invasion, it has stood carefully aside from any condemnation of Russia for the war. In the long run, China may eventually attempt a similar war of conquest for Taiwan, an independent state that China considers illegitimate and historically part of Chinese territory. While remaining silent, Xi Jinping and the ruling Chinese Communist Party are carefully watching the war in Ukraine and assessing its results.
In recent years, Russia and China have grown much closer together, and the trend is accelerating. In January and February, Chinese exports to Russia grew by 20%, to a total of $15 billion, and Russian imports to China rose 31%, to $18.65 billion. In addition, the Chinese yuan has become the most important currency on the Moscow stock exchange. China now receives more oil from Russia than from Saudi Arabia, its next largest supplier.
In a world dominated by greater and lesser powers, history and geopolitics drive certain states to make alliances. Both Russia and China, because of their histories, have had the basis to develop independently and to challenge the total dominance of the U.S. in global politics and economics. This meeting represents an alliance that follows the old saying, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”
For us, the working class and poor of the world, we have no stake in their game. The exploiters and their governments, in Beijing, Moscow, Washington, or London, do not represent us. They risk destroying our world with their economic competition, military aggression, and ecological destruction. Unlike them, we aren’t playing a game of divide and conquer with the world.